My client, Lindy Hardie had a dream to create a beautiful lush garden oasis amidst the red dust of her home town, Blackall in Central Queensland. She then set about chronicling her hard work in diary format in her self published book: Beyond the Dust: a Gardening Journal. Her aim was to share her gardening knowledge and her personal experiences with her family, friends and local rural community.
Authors decide to self publish their book for many different reasons. Some have approached traditional publishing houses to get their book published and are fed up with constant rejection. Others have made the decision upfront to sidestep the judgement of traditional publishers and self publish instead. But authors all have one goal in common: a desire to get their message or story out into the world.
Five good reasons for self publishing your book
1. Traditional publishers won’t accept your manuscript for publication or if they do, they dictate the terms for all aspects of your book
Many successful authors have experienced numerous rejections from publishers before finally getting their manuscript accepted for publication. Every year, traditional publishing houses receive thousands of manuscripts from aspiring authors and will only publish a dozen or so from unknown writers. For this reason, a lot of writers are now opting to self publish their book.
By self publishing your book, you can be actively involved in the whole creative process, and because you have the final say in all decisions about editing, proofreading and book design, your book will turn out exactly the way you want it to.
2. Testing the market to find out if your book will sell
You may have dreamt of becoming a published author but felt anxious that after spending countless hours writing your book, no one will want to read it. Will your book sell successfully?
For many first-time authors, self publishing using digital printing reduces the financial risks associated with book printing. Whereas previously, the only option for self published authors who wanted to print a high-quality book was via offset printing (which usually involves a minimum order of 1,000 books), recent technological advances have meant that the standard of digital printing has dramatically improved. As a result, you can start small and test your market by opting to only print a small quantity of books (most digital printers offer short print run minimums of 100 books, but some will print just 50 books).
3. A subject area or genre that has limited market or niche audience appeal
The subject area or genre of your book may appeal to only a limited market and therefore not be of interest to a large publishing house. Nevertheless, your book may be very engaging to a niche audience and sell very successfully. In this case, digital printing or print-on-demand publishing (POD) may be the ideal option for you to get your story out to your readers.
4. Boosting your career prospects and raising your professional profile
By self publishing a book within your particular industry or field of work, you put in place the groundwork to becoming an authority within your area of expertise. Many writers are now aiming to become ‘authorpreneurs’ whereby their book becomes an essential cornerstone of their business or career. Being published author can open doors to other career opportunities including keynote speaking at conferences and business events, as well as resulting in new sales opportunities.
5. Leaving a legacy for your family or community
All of us have a unique life story to share with the world – complete with ordinary incidents, as well as moments of brilliance, tragedy and humour – that can enrich our families and our communities. Your personal history is as individual as you are, and it can be an invaluable record to hand down to your close relatives, friends and descendants. By writing down and printing your memoirs, you will have created a cherished family heirloom for generations to come.
Whatever your motivation for self publishing, you are more likely to enjoy the publishing process if you commission professional people including editors, typesetters and book cover designers to work with who share your vision for your book.